Flaxseed, Hydrochloric Acid, Cadmium and Cancer
Excerpt from article from jan. 2016, Anette Harbech Olesen (Food for Life)

Flaxseed is nature's gift to us humans. Fantastically healthy, rich in the essential fatty acids and filled with beneficial and protective plant nutrients.
I have mentioned and recommended flaxseed in pretty much all my books and have now gathered all the most important knowledge on this page.

First of all, flaxseed is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids , and these fatty acids have long been known to have a protective effect in relation to cardiovascular disease.
Less well known, but just as well documented, is that omega 3 fat acids are of great importance for brain function and can optimize everything from your memory to brain size. A daily intake of omega 3, together with the intake of a high-quality multivitamin / mineral pill, can slow down the degeneration of the brain and even have an antidepressant and nerve-protecting function. Researchers have found that the people (and not least children) who eat the most omega 3 have greater brain volume and better cognitive abilities than those who do not consume omega 3.

Despite the fantastic properties of flaxseed, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has chosen to warn against the consumption of ground flaxseed in large quantities, primarily due to their content of cadmium and hydrocyanic acid. But in my opinion, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration makes all of us consumers unnecessarily uneasy. Extremely large quantities must be consumed before flaxseeds become problematic.

Flaxseed and Cadmium: Let's take the issue of cadmium first. You should eat approx. 1 KILO of flaxseed per week to reach the cadmium limit values. Of course you eat other foods that also contain cadmium, but 1 KILO of ground flaxseed is a lot after all. In addition to flaxseed, you also get cadmium from other seeds, kernels and grains. For example. Sunflower seeds contain by far the highest levels of cadmium, but also pine nuts, birches, sesame seeds and grains have cadmium in them, and cadmium levels can vary greatly depending on cultivation methods and areas. Living near a busy road can also increase your cadmium levels.

Flaxseed and Hydrochloric Acid: The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has also mentioned that flaxseed contains hydrocyanic acid, also called cyanogenic glycosides. It is true that flaxseed contains small amounts of hydrocyanic acid, but so does the peel of almonds - just like apricot kernels, which are widely used for marzipan, etc. Hydrochloric acid is also found in cherries, apples, apricots, plums and raspberries. We have not seen warnings against eating marzipan or other of the above foods, therefore, in my opinion, not even in this context, there are health problems with consuming flaxseed in your morning muesli or in your rye bread.

Flaxseed, Homons and Cancer: In addition to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration's warnings, there has unfortunately also been a warning against consuming flaxseed by e.g. hormone-sensitive cancers. Wrong - in my opinion. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence for such warnings. The plant nutrients - i.a. SDG - found in flaxseed, has a particularly selective and protective effect on the estrogen receptors in the body. Therefore, in the case of hormone-sensitive cancers, you can also supplement your food with a few spoonfuls of ground flaxseed in the morning muesli or over the fruit salad, and thus benefit from the beneficial properties of flaxseed. You can read more via the link below.

Remember to choose organic flaxseeds: Organic flaxseeds appear to contain only half as many cyanogenic glycosides as conventional flaxseeds. Cyanogenic glycosides are found only in the flaxseeds and not in the flaxseed oil, as the hydrocyanic acid remains in the “cake” when the oil is pressed. So there you have another go ’reason to choose organic. :).
In short, flaxseed is a great source of health - a source that you can safely make use of every day, as long as you just stick to normal amounts.

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